What’s the story?
Jason (Adam Scott) and Julie (Jennifer Westfeldt) have been friends for a long, long time. Jason confides in Julie and, likewise, Julie confides in Jason, both sharing their lives’ highs and lows with one another.
When their friends Alex (Chris O’Dowd) and Leslie (Maya Rudolph) and Ben (Jon Hamm) and Missy (Kristen Wiig) fall in love, settle down and have kids with one another, the dynamic of their social circle changes and Jason and Julie find themselves the odd couple out.
While their friends struggle with the realities of marriage and parenthood, Jason and Julie’s friendship seems as solid as ever, but, with time marching on, the best buddies aren’t getting any younger and each would love a kiddie of their own.
Using their friends’ hectic relationships as inspiration, Jason and Julie come to the conclusion that it would be much easier for all involved if two mutually responsible and professional (but not in love) best friends had a baby together.
No sooner than you can say ‘pregnancy test kit’, Julie and Jason are set to become best friends with a baby.
Nine months later, the baby is born and, surprisingly, this insane arrangement seems to be going swimmingly… that is until Jason and Julie hit the dating scene again and their true feelings for one another begin to surface.
Last week it was The Five Year Engagement, a few weeks before that it was What to Expect When You’re Expecting and, this week, it’s Friends With Kids.
It seems that Hollywood is currently enamoured with the trials and tribulations of monogamy, pregnancy and parenting and Friends With Kids confidently ticks those three boxes – albeit with the help of a slightly more unconventional story that’s rooted firmly in romantic-comedy soil.
Borrowing pretty much the entire cast of Bridesmaids, director and star Jennifer Westfeldt gives us a light, polished and ultimately predictable tale that tries its best to approach the rom-com from a different and intriguing direction, with two friends deciding have a baby with one another.
Friends With Kids is at its best when the group of friends get together – Chris O’Dowd and Maya Rudolph can bicker, argue and scrap with one another with the best of them and Jon Hamm and Kristen Wiig give us a couple simmering with resentment as the constant grinding trials of parenthood take their toll.
The script is riddled with witty one-liners and there’s a never-ending assortment of rude and crude references to sexual organs, baby poo and other bodily fluids – yep, this is not the most alluring date night movie.
However, with a predictable ending you can see coming a mile off, Friends With Kids seems to stick a just little too close for comfort to the usual old rom-com genrea rules of engagement.
A likeable cast and a slightly upside-down premise make this a watchable and mildly-amusing rom-com that speaks from the heart, and who doesn’t love a happy ending at the flicks?